From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2–Dream Town
is a love letter to the eclectic architecture of Los Angeles. On a snowy day, a boy discovers that his nana grew up in a place that was neither too cold nor too hot. He thinks this sounds boring, but she assures him that her Dream Town was never dull. She talks of a giant tamale, an ocean liner docked around the corner, and a stack of records high as the sky. None of this makes much sense until the final pages, where a series of photographs and a rather lengthy author's note provide some information about the city's unusual architecture from the 1920s to the 1960s, and how it reflected the changing culture of the United States. Sadly, children will have lost interest by this point. Despite the mention of a prevalent magic in the air, the grandmother's story is not engaging enough to explain how these extraordinary sights inspired her. Reese's illustrations are cluttered and overwhelming and do nothing to anchor the text, which suffers greatly from too much whimsy and a lack of plot. This is strictly a special-interest book for fans of L.A.–Kara Schaff Dean, Needham Public Library, MA
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"Where can a traveler find a giant donut, a witch's house and a space station that serves French fries?" -- Kirkus Reviews February 16, 2006
Poetic prose and illustrations both amusing and magical join together to create a paean to the wonders of our imagination. -- Bloomsbury review Mar/April 2006